The Golden Retriever originated in Scotland around 1860. Lord Tweedmouth is credited for buying a yellow retriever named "Nous" from a cobbler in Brighton.
Lord Tweedmouth had a liver-colored Tweek Spaniel named, Belle, who was bred to Nous in 1868. This breeding produced four yellow puppies named ; Ada, Cowslip, Crocus and Primrose. Cowslip was bred to another Tweed Water Spaniel. One of their offspring, Topsy, was bred to Sambo (assumed to have been a black retriever), a bitch named Zoe was born. Zoe was line-bred to Crocus and produced three yellow puppies in 1881.
In the 1870's, Lord Tweedmouth and his friends established the earliest Golden Retriever breeding programs.
Around the turn of the century, both Flat-Coats and Labradors were used in the English breeding programs. There are rumors of a bloodhound outcross, as well as an Irish Setter outcross.
The first Golden Retrievers were introduced to North America brought there by retired English Army Officers around the turn of the century.
Today's Golden Retriever may look a bit different than the first but, some things will always remain: the wonderful, happy temperament, the incredible drive to please, and the instinctive birdiness. - all common in our beautiful breed.